Monday Moments ~ Spring Break Activities

SpringVacationTime

 

Spring Break season is upon us. Some of the top activities for spring season are:

1) Stay-cation – Enjoy the sights, sounds and activities of your own city or somewhere close by! Visiting museums, parks & playgrounds are at the top.

2) Beach Vacation – Whether you travel across the country, or around the world, visiting the beach with family is a local hotspot for families!

3) Theme Parks – Disney World, Universal Studios, Six Flags & More…theme parks are visited by thousands during the week of Spring Break!

4) Skiing – Finish out the winter season with a ski vacation. Many families flock to the slopes to enjoy the final fun of snow & sun!

5) Home Is Where It’s At – Board games, front yard baseball, family barbecue, and more! Many find the comforts of home just as relaxing as leaving town. Many choose to turn off electronics, and let nature be their guide!

What are you doing for Spring Break this year? Share with us!

Thursday Crafts For Kids ~ Paper Sand Dollars

papersanddollar

White or cream-colored card stock

Round cotton pad or circle of packing foam

Glue

Clothespins

Dry barley

How to make it

To make your own paper sand dollars, first cut a pair of circles, about 3 inches in diameter, from white or cream-colored card stock.

Sandwich the 2 circles together with a round cotton pad or circle of packing foam between them.

Glue the circles together, using clothespins to hold them in place until the glue has dried.

Finally, glue on a star-shaped design of dry barley, white beans, or uncooked pasta shells.

Thursday Crafts For Kids ~ Paper Birds For Kids

paperbirds

Scrapbook paper

Scissors

Pencil

Colored paper clips

Tape

Glue stick

Hole punch or pushpins

How to make it

For each, draw a bird figure on a piece of scrapbook paper. You can download a bird template here.

Bend a colored paper clip or two into feet and tape them to the back side of one figure. Use a glue stick to join the two matching figures, sandwiching the paper clip legs between them.

Make an eye with a hole punch or pushpin and adjust the legs so that the bird can stand on its own.

Thursday Crafts For Kids ~ Tissue Paper Bowl

tissuepaper

2 small bowls

Cooking spray or vegetable oil

Plastic wrap

1/4 cup flour

1/2 cup water

Paintbrush

2 sheets of tissue paper cut or torn into roughly 2- by 2-inch pieces

Bowl of white vinegar (optional)

How to make

Coat the outside of one small bowl with cooking spray or vegetable oil, then cover it tightly with plastic wrap.

In the other bowl, whisk the flour and water together until smooth.

Have your child brush the paste onto the plastic wrap, then cover it with pieces of tissue paper as shown. She may need your help pressing down the pieces so that they stick to the paste. When the bowl is covered with one layer, have her brush on more paste and add another layer. Continue until you have a thick, defined bowl shape; you’ll need at least five layers. If the brush gets too goopy, dip it in white vinegar, then rinse it with water. Let the papier-mâché dry (at least 12 hours).

Gently remove the papier-mâché bowl from the bowl mold and peel the plastic wrap away. For a smooth edge, trim the bowl’s rim with scissors.

Thursday Crafts For Kids ~ No More Monsters Spray!

monsterspray

Squirt Bottle (no paint needed if you find one solid in color)

Buttons, plastic beads, pebbles etc..

Craft Paint – Only if your squirt bottle is clear

Foam paint brush

Stickers, wiggly eyes, sparkly gems, etc

glue dots for items without adhesive

scented oil- non toxic

Water

Helpful Tip:

Be careful of any choking hazards. The small beads or buttons may cause a risk if your child places them in their mouth.

Variations:

You can decorate your bottle any way you want. Maybe you want to add shiny streamers, stickers or gems.

How to Make Monster Spray

Gather your materials. You could even have your child help you if you think it would help.

If your squirt bottle isn’t a solid color, paint the outside of your bottle with a darker craft paint. Let it dry completely.

Now that your bottle is dry. Time to fill it with the magic! Fill with water, scented oil (not too much, just enough to give it a light scent) and your plastic beads or buttons. The beads give it sound which makes it more magical!

Spray areas you think Monsters like to hide.

Pocket Mommy Children’s Book

pocketmommy

 

Super cute little book for moms and kids alike! You can find it on Amazon.com.

Nothing can break a parent’s heart more than dropping their toddler off at daycare, kindergarten or leaving them home with a babysitter when they walk out the door and watching their child experience separation anxiety.

That is why professional working mom, Aila Malik wrote the illustrated children’s storybook, Pocket Mommy, which includes cut-out paper dolls on the back cover. Having experienced the challenge of separation anxiety with her own son, together they wrote this book about a young boy nervous and sad to be apart from his mom and she cleverly creates a paper doll he can carry in his pocket to remind him she is nearby. This innovative idea helped Aila’s son overcome his anxiety separation and they hope it will help other families who face the same dilemma.

A wide paperback designed to be held by two, beautifully written with colorful illustrations by Vincenzo Lara including a back cover which provides ethnically diverse “pocket mommy” cut-outs including an unfinished one for the child to draw their own or paste a photo. Pocket Mommy can be a wonderful way for families to try and solve toddler separation anxiety creatively. The author also provides parent communication tips on the back page as well.

Thursday Crafts For Kids ~ Cotton Ball Counting Sheep

sheepcottonball

White construction paper

Cotton balls

Scissors

Transparent adhesive tape

Glue stick

Pencil and eraser

Black crayon

Black marker

Cotton swabs

How to make it:

Draw the sheep by hand very softly with a pencil. They do not have to be all the same or perfectly drawn.

Trace the pencil drawings with a black marker. Draw numbers in the center of each animal.

Have your toddler color the face and ears of the sheep with a black crayon (or any other color you choose) and then proceed to cut out each drawing.

Cover the sheep’s body and hair with glue avoiding the middle area, where the number is.

Use cotton balls to cover the parts that have glue.

Cut the cotton swabs in half with a pair of scissors.

Turn the sheep and use transparent adhesive tape to attach the feet of the sheep to the back.

Thursday Crafts For Kids ~ Pasta Pictures For Toddlers

PastaPic

What You’ll Need:

pasta

strong wood glue

cardboard or gift box

Activity:

There are so many great ways to get your pasta working for you!

Animal cut out – let your child draw a large animal or similar on the cardboard.

Help them to cut it out and then squirt or paint glue all over the cut out.

Position the pasta on the glue before it dries.

Name plate – write your child’s name in large block letters on the cardboard, help your child to cut this out and then cover with glue.

Position the pasta to cover it completely before it dries.

Draw and fill in – encourage your child to draw something that will be fun to fill in with pasta shapes.

For example – a huge race track or a big pond with surrounding plants and flowers.

Next position the pasta to cover it completely before it dries.

Foodie Friday ~ The Best Lasagna

Homemade Lasagna

1 pound sweet Italian sausage

3/4 pound lean ground beef

1/2 cup minced onion

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes

2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste

2 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce

1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons white sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves

1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 tablespoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

12 lasagna noodles

16 ounces ricotta cheese

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced

3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

In a Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.

Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.